How we used SEO and content to double gym signups for Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness started as one small gym in a humble basement studio in New York City’s East Village in 1989 as a welcoming place for a diverse group of people to get fit.

Crunch Fitness

The brand now has over hundreds of gyms worldwide and approached Reef to help improve organic search performance throughout the Australian market.


Crunch Fitness wanted to increase gym membership signups in the competitive NSW market, contending against brands such as Virgin Active, Fitness First and Anytime Fitness.
Reef’s strategy for Crunch Fitness was to grow the brand awareness by tapping into whole new target customer groups. Our core strategy was to create consistent content through regular blogging, blog syndication and promotion.

This resulted in:

  • Crunch Fitness occupying the Top 3 positions on page 1 of Google for major location keywords like “gym sydney”, “gym parramatta”, and “chatswood gym”
  • The organic channel becoming the highest contributor to new business, with a 101% increase in “Join Now” goal completions
  • The Crunch Fitness Blog attracting increased visits to the website with seasonal and trending content by capturing top of the funnel visitors

The challenge

  1. Increase their gym membership signups and increase the conversion rate of “Join now” goal completions.
  2. Achieve a strong presence in organic search results for key search terms. Increase keywords on page 1. Increase organic visibility for competitive non-brand terms.
  3. Increase location terms that Reef experts knew drove gym sign ups via PPC but were costly due to competition, eg ’gym sydney’ and ’gym parramatta’, targeted through SEO.

The strategy

Reef used three key components to increase gym memberships:

  1. Increase relevance of the website by implementing on-page optimisation – Optimised website for title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and other on-page elements
  2. Regular blogging for brand awareness – Reef identified that Crunch’s website could benefit from a blog where they could provide helpful information and lead visitors towards a conversion. We worked in conjunction with the developers to fix the technical issues on the website and get the blog live. We started off creating content on trending topics with the added benefit of ranking for long-tail keywords and capture leads. We focused on a strong blogging campaign that delivered 2 blogs each month, including informative content like how-to guides and an evergreen infographic on “How to Read Nutritional Labels”.
  3. Off-page optimisation – Creation of high quality content for industry websites with links back to the Crunch website

Key results

  • Crunch Fitness achieves search engine dominance by occupying Top 3 positions on page 1 of Google for major location keywords like “gym sydney”, “gym parramatta”, “chatswood gym”, “Bankstown gym”, “gym liverpool” and “caringbah gym”
  • The organic channel becomes the number 1 driver of new business. 101% increase in “Join Now” goal completions.
  • In 2017 web traffic reached 505,646 organic sessions (30% increase compared to 2016).
  • The website saw 23,610 new visitors in 8 months from the organic channel.
  • Crunch Fitness has 652 keywords in Top 3 positions on page 1 of SERPs

Do you relate to one of these situations?